Who says Jeopardy needs James Holzhauer to make history? On Thursday night, two contestants squared off in a final tiebreaker round that host Alex Trebek accurately described as a “great finish.” The moment was only the second tiebreaker ever played in a regular Jeopardy game, and likely the last one we’ll see before Season 35 ends on July 26 — unless something absolutely bonkers happens during the final week of game play. Actually, that wouldn’t be all that bad.
On Thursday night’s episode, contestant Roey Hadar led the pack going into Final Jeopardy with $19,600. In a somewhat surprising move, Hadar declined to wager anything at all, giving Nathan Kaplan ($9,800) a chance to tie it. Kaplan ended up wagering his entire pot, so when both answered a question about Adolf Eichmann correctly, they had no choice but to go head to head in an ultra-rare tiebreaker round.
“We have, for probably the last time this season, a tie. And that means we’re going to a tiebreaker clue,” said Trebek. “We’ll give you the category. The first player to ring in with a correct response will win the game.” The longtime Jeopardy host revealed the category, “Science,” and read the clue: “This noble gas is the second-lightest element” (what is with these super easy tiebreaker questions?). Kaplan was the first contestant to ring in with the answer — “What is helium?” — securing his spot in tonight’s game.
“You win the game with $19,600,” said Trebek. “Great finish!”
Thursday’s tiebreaker was only the second ever played in regular-game history (the first happened in March 2018). But interestingly, it’s also the second in recent weeks: on June 26, high schoolers Jackson Jones and Avi Gupta played a tiebreaker during the Teen Tournament, with Gupta ultimately winning. The tiebreaker win helped propel Gupta to Teen Tournament victory, and he went home with $100,000 as a reward for his efforts.
Congratulations, Nathan Kaplan! The math professor will continue his Jeopardy journey tonight, Friday, July 19. To find the exact time and channel in your area, visit the Jeopardy website.
The post ‘Jeopardy’ Contestants Face Off in Second-Ever Regular Game Tiebreaker appeared first on Decider.